Global Shipments Of Narrow-Bezel LCDs Growing Despite Rise Of LED Video Wall Alternatives

March 17, 2020 by Dave Haynes

UK-based research firm Informa is suggesting narrow-bezel LCD video wall displays are still relevant and attractive despite many to most display manufacturers starting to heavily promote direct view LED as a new alternative.

Based on the latest release of our Public Display Market Tracker with Q4 2019 results, says the company in a market insights piece, it is evident that videowalls are quickly becoming one of the fastest growing products among digital signage displays. Global videowall shipments reported a 21% year-on-year growth due to the growing number of applications and venues installing these displays.

More notably, demand for videowalls in the <=1.99mm bezel width category increased a remarkable 82% year-on-year based on Q4 2019 results.

The report adds:

In anticipation of a growing number of brands expected to launch videowall products with bezel-to-bezel width less than 0.99mm in 2020, Omdia (part of Informa) is splitting our current bezel width categorization from <=1.99mm to two separate categories: <=0.99mm and 1.00mm-1.99mm.

In fact, fourth quarter results from 2019 reveal nearly 13% of videowall shipments with bezel-to-bezel width less than 1.99mm are comprised of these ‘Micro’ narrow videowalls in the <=0.99mm bezel width category. Omdia expects moderate, steady growth for these ‘Micro’ videowall products during 2020, as many of the leading global signage brands are already reporting shipments in this category.

One interesting aspect of the analysis is word about who makes what …

Competition among leading display panel makers is also fierce, with only LG Display and BOE producing these ‘Micro’ narrow bezel videowall panels. Interestingly, Samsung Electronics commonly uses LG Display’s videowall panel in this case, instead of China’s BOE panel. Indeed, BOE is promoting a sample product with equivalent specifications, however, it has not been selected for videowall products manufactured by first tier set companies.

LG Display’s leading position in this product segment will ultimately be determined by the direction of Samsung Display’s product launch strategy, in addition to the timeliness of product quality improvements from the Chinese display panel maker.

Currently, LG Display is supplying various videowall panel products, including its 0.88mm ‘Razor Narrow Bezel’ panel, with nearly 450K units per year. Samsung Display is supplying nearly 640K units per year for all its videowall panel products to set makers around the world.

There are a few key attributes of LCD displays as video walls over newer direct view LED. The obvious one is cost, with quality LED still substantially more costly than an LCD video wall of the same dimension. 

The other big ones:

The down side of these super-narrow bezel displays is that the razor-thin frames around these products require expert-level installation teams, as they are especially fragile. 

I love direct view LED, but  think there is definitely a place in the market, still, for LCD. Manufacturers and solutions providers say end-users want LED because there are no seams, which is true. But when content is properly designed, working with the seams instead of visually fighting them, the seams are pretty much immaterial.

What happens, though, are LCD walls go up, and then content gets designed based on the overall resolution, and with no thought, understanding or concern about how those seams might bisect an image or text, or how they look against a white or light background.

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